Home Sustainability Park City sustainable tourism plan is in the works

Park City sustainable tourism plan is in the works


When the Chamber Bureau board of directors hired new CEO Jennifer Wesselhoff last year, they noted that one of the bright spots on her resume was putting a sustainable tourism plan in place for Sedona, AZ – and hoped she would do something similar for Park City.

In July, Wesselhoff began the assessment by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council that will measure Park City against dozens of sustainability criteria that she says will be a launchpad for a Park City-specific stewardship plan.

“The global Sustainable Tourism Council is the leading global authority for setting and managing standards in sustainable travel and tourism,” Wesselhoff explained. “Some of the founding organizations have what we call the GSTC – Global Sustainable Tourism Council – was founded by the United Nations Foundation, the UN, WTO, and the Rainforest Alliance. It’s really meant to be a set of standards not just for mature nations but for emerging nations developing nations as they’re thinking about exploring sustainable tourism and inviting visitors to their country.”

There are only 35 destinations around the world that have gone through the process. Jackson Hole, she says, was the first resort town in the United States to undergo the assessment. Sedona was the second and Park City will be the third.

“Hopefully Park City will become the model on how to really create a sustainable destination,” she said.

The GSTC defines sustainable tourism as tourism that takes full account of the current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the environment, and the community.

“So, it’s really all about balancing sort of those four pillars. that we’ve been talking about the environment, the quality of life for residents and how tourism impacts both of those, but also sustaining a thriving economy with a positive visitor experience. And we spent a lot of time this last week talking about that shift and what it looks like to still market and still bring people to Park City when our businesses need it. But also, better thinking about how we can influence that visitor behavior once visitors are here.”

She says they hope to share the results of the assessment evaluation with the public as soon as early December.

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